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Old 08-30-2014, 11:24 AM   #21
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As usual, C lectric is spot on. BTW our Hurricane hot water hydronic system indeed has a return line from the fuel pump back to the tank. And Etic, surely you remember FF froze his body parts off in NY. I did too which was my first introduction to look for a warm winter climate so one can enjoy 12 months on the water like Murray and the rest of us PNW boaters.

Speaking of Dickenson heaters, a few vessels that I've been on with them seem to have a diesel smell - is this common?
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Old 08-30-2014, 11:40 AM   #22
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I find I have a slight diesel smell at start up but once it's going it clears up. I don't notice it any other time, but someone else might.
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Old 08-30-2014, 01:31 PM   #23
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About a diesel smell, I would say not or should not have to be. Usually, any smell of RAW diesel is due to small unattended weeps. It not dealt with it can drip into areas such as cabinets and other woodwork which can then hold that odour for long periods.

Engine leaks can be vapourized and then that vapour will permeate the boat. That can take a long time to dissipate but if the source is stopped the odour will go.

When we first got our boat it reeked. The was a diesel leak on the engine which took a while to find and correct.

The stove oil control was monkeyed and dripped plus the piping connections leaked. It soaked the cabinets. I found and fixed the leaks but I eventually had to seal the wood. Wiped thoroughly with acetone and then varnished the daylights out of it.

Now no more detectable smell unless I am monkeyhanded at fuel filter change time.

I'm really no longer aware of any odour from long time working on the boat. I do notice that when others, especially non boaters, come aboard expecting our boat to smell of diesel they have commented there is no odour as they expected.

I also spent a lot of time redoing fuel line joins. The lines are copper. The connections were single flares. Lots of those flares were not well done and some split allowing weeps. All are now double flared connections. Doubles are a bit more trouble and need the extra cone bit to form but are far more reliable and seal MUCH better.

If you go that route then get a good quality double flaring tool. I have a Weatherhead as a minimum and it does a good job. There are better ones out there.
Just keep the gripper rings clean as they will collect a tiny bit of copper from use and then will allow the tube to slip creating a poor flare. Keep those ring clean and you will get a good flare. And a few practice flares are neccesary.

Compression fittings have no place in fuel lines at all. Single flares are a poor cousin to a double flare.

I will quit now.
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:33 PM   #24
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Well, that was interesting...

Spent the morning up close and personal with our stove, and it was a grimy affair. The diesel that came out of the day tank and the lines to the control unit was really thick in viscocity, and dark.

There's new diesel in the tank now, and it flows easily. I'll try it tomorrow while out on the channel, instead of tied beside my gleaming white neighbours in the marina.

Thanks for all the tips.
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:56 PM   #25
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That's a Singer oil control valve. Keep it clean with good fuel and it should give good service. Unfortunately they are long out of production and I believe parts are not available.

The older Dickinsons used the same unit. Mine had it but mine did have trouble so I changed to the Dickinson unit. The Dickinson is a good valve also so if it transpires that your Singer gives trouble then consider replacing with the Dickinson unit. There are several different rate of flow valves so you will need that Singer info to get the proper valve.

May you not have trouble.

That's a good looking stove. I'd forgotten is was a brown colour. Looks very good.
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:22 PM   #26
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Do diesel-fueled heaters/stoves create a diesel engine's exhaust odor? Just wondering.
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:33 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Do diesel-fueled heaters/stoves create a diesel engine's exhaust odor? Just wondering.
Probably, if your engine burned a teaspoon or two an hour
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:46 PM   #28
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That's a Singer oil control valve. Keep it clean with good fuel and it should give good service. Unfortunately they are long out of production and I believe parts are not available.

The older Dickinsons used the same unit. Mine had it but mine did have trouble so I changed to the Dickinson unit. The Dickinson is a good valve also so if it transpires that your Singer gives trouble then consider replacing with the Dickinson unit. There are several different rate of flow valves so you will need that Singer info to get the proper valve.

May you not have trouble.

That's a good looking stove. I'd forgotten is was a brown colour. Looks very good.
The nylon mesh strainer/filter is still in good shape and it's passing fuel (it got boiled & dried) so I didn't open up the control valve because I would probably create more issues than exist right now.

We'll give the old beast a good chance at a second life, use it while winter boating, and then we'll know if it's just too much trouble to keep and start looking for a modern alternative in the spring.

Would really like to keep it, as it fits with the rest of the 1980's equipment on board
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Old 08-31-2014, 01:12 AM   #29
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If the stove works, and it should, it wil be dead reliable and need virtually no power to operate. The fan , in your case will be a heavier draw than the newer Dickinson motors. That new fan has been in my stove for ~15 years and gets regular use with the stove.

Dickinson changed to a tiny Canon motor for the fan drive which uses very little current. If need be I suspect yours can be changed/adapted for one of those Canons.

For little to no power use to drain batteries these stoves, Washington or Dickinson are ideal.

The heat is not as even as a furnace but if you can adapt you will appreciate the stove overall. You can cook on it and use the oven. It just takes some adapting and learning how.

Leave a kettle on the side and you will have hot water.

We were in the Broughtons again this June and July and many days we ran our stove during the day. Keeps the boat interior dry. On damp days the interior feels clammy. That stove of yours will dry the interior out.

We turned it off at night as it is then too much.

In the winter we ran it 24 hr a day.

Do not give up on it too soon.

I'm rambling but when we first got our boat I darn near trashed our Dickinson. It stank, it was unreliable often going out for no apparent, to me, reason.

Luckily I was two city blocks from Dickinson so I simply walked down after work and asked questions, lots of them. You can;t do that of course but the stove is and has been absolutely great for going on 27 yrs now. The first two years not so much.

The reason I persisted was because of the downside of tossing it. Lots of $$$$ for a propane system, more batteries, noisy furnace operation and too many people I knew were constantly having furnace trouble. Not to mention the work involved.

As for smell from the stack. Not unless something is seriously wrong. I'm often on the bridge while the stove operates and unless I stand right next to the stack there is no odour.
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Old 08-31-2014, 01:53 AM   #30
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We'll give it a good shot, for your reasons, and because there's a certain satisfaction in bringing our boat back to life.

Some sound advice on this Dickinson pdf;

http://www.dickinsonmarine.com/Manua...ual-2011-2.pdf
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:11 AM   #31
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>It stank, it was unreliable often going out for no apparent, to me, reason.<

One reason for the stove to go out is the wrong smoke head or no barometric damper.

A puff (25-35+K) of wind can suck the flame out , which is not noticed till it starts to get cold in the boat.

The required barometric damper , with an H smoke head solved this.

Once the installation is correct the units will operate for all winter with no effort.

Ours is a hydronic set up . a 7 turn coil is inside the heater , the water goes as high as possible in the PH and gravity runs it thru the (WT) bulkheads and back to the unit.The circulating water is a constant 135 F when adjusted properly (by hand) weather its -17F or +60F outside.There is about 20 ft of finned baseboard tubing to carry the heat into the fwd cabin.

>surely you remember FF froze his body parts off in NY.<

My first attempt at heat was electric , a total failure.

The next was with an Espar that I was not smart enough to run on 50% kero , and still used a start stop thermostat .

After switching to 50% kero , and using the unit at all times on half it did work acceptably.

Only problems with the Dickinson came After the hydronic was working well.

I switched from hose (with nice gentle big radius ) to copper tubing and it shut down. Using refrigeration slow Ls solved that hassle.
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:08 PM   #32
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Hi Fred,
My comment about stank was more to do with the diesel weeps rather than any backdrafting or exhaust odour entering the cabin..

I have the barometric damper. That was one of the mods. done when I was bugging Dickinson. It helped a lot.

I have always used the cloverleaf , that's what it came with, although I definitely noted your previous comments about the 'H' head design.

I've never had it backdraft but quite likely I've never had the conditions to make it do so although we have been out in wind of up to 40K. Lucky?? That's why my comment about when travelling to turn it up. I know one couple, liveaboards, and it did backdraft but it was turned low and they left the boat in windy conditions. A heck of a mess throughout the boat although many years ago now.

We almost always have a window or the top of our Dutch door open so the stove doesn't starve

So Murray, it might be worth noting FF comment about the stack head, also the barometric damper.
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:00 AM   #33
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Success ...sort of...

It got up and running all right, which was nice on a cold, rainy, north coast day, especially while anchored. There's still a bunch of kinks to work out (obviously) but hopefully not a couple years worth!

One thing I learned is that you should sweep the decades worth of spider webs out of the chimney head before you fire it up. They are very efficient at scavenging carbon from smoke, letting it accumulate, then casting carbon chunks adrift on the wind only to fall on white gelcoat.

Me-thinks the viscocity of the diesel is thinner and faster flowing than what was used before because what should have been the pilot light (lowest) setting had things blazing pretty seriously. The control valve has an adjustment for that, so I'll tweek that tomorrow.

It was pretty smokey at first (see photo below) but once the fan was adjusted to a slow setting it was smoke free. Problem is, it sounded like a low budget rocket.

It also smoked pretty bad with the fan off, making me think there was too much fuel making its way into the burning pot...check out the 'pilot' flame (see photo below).

Looking forward to getting things dialed in to the point where it will burn efficiently without the fan on...there might be a barometric dampener in my future.

All in all though, this has been a game changer day
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:20 AM   #34
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The hardest service for these units is live aboard tied to a dock.

The winter wind can come from every direction ,even up or down unlike anchored or underway.

If a aux fan is needed check the damper is closed and look for gunk in the air inlet at the bottom of the stove.

Sometimes an extra length of exhaust pipe outside will have it draw better.
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:30 AM   #35
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If a aux fan is needed check the damper is closed and look for gunk in the air inlet at the bottom of the stove.

Sometimes an extra length of exhaust pipe outside will have it draw better.
The damper did get closed after the chimney got hot to the touch...or do you think what I'm calling a damper is what redirects heat around the oven box?

I did haul great chunks of carbon from the access hole at the bottom, centre, front of the oven using the long scraper tool...is that the "air inlet" you're talking about or is there another one located somewhere else?

Before adjusting the metering valve I'll pop the top off the stove and see what carbon is clogging things up that the scraper tool missed.

Starting to have a hunch the PO tried to get the stove to work, created a massive buildup of carbon, then just gave up.

C lectric's brother-in-law had it working properly in the 1980's, so I'll hold off on adding extra length of pipe for now.

Does the chimney ever need to get swept on these stoves?

Thanks for all the hand holding.
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Old 09-01-2014, 03:54 PM   #36
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Diesel is famous for growing algae. I wouldn't dream of trying to fire that stove without draining that fuel and cleaning the tank.
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:31 PM   #37
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The barometric damper is in the exhaust pipe stack above the stove top meant to reduce/ adjust draw in the stack so the flame doesn't get pulled down to far into the burner,causing dirty burning.

I suspect if you are lifting a ring set into the stove top or the stove side then that is the oven damper meant to force the heat to circulate around the oven cavity for oven use. Nothing to do with the exhaust damper.

I do not recall how tall the stack above the stove to the weather head is so you might want to take a look at that.

Don't jump yet but have a look at those things:
--stack height
--weather head
--barometric damper
--thorough cleaning of the pipe and the stove guts

Yes, I do recall the burner sounded a bit like a roar. Forgot about that.

The residual fuel in the lines and oil control valve may be what you are burning initially and may be smokey.

I have never 'cleaned' the exhaust stack. If the stove burns cleanly it should not be neccesary. There will be some build up on the pipe walls but it should not be heavy enough to cause trouble unless the stove burns dirty for a long time, or you bang it.. Keep the heat up for a bunch of hours, open doors and windows, and allow it to clean itself out.

One thing with my Dickinson is although 'low' may be where you want the heat set 'low' is not what the stove likes. It needs to be turned up so it can clean itself out and it will. That's when I turn it up for a boat run and open the door and windows for temp. control.

In your case it may be worthwhile to clean everything that you can though if the immediate P.O. monkeyed things up.

I do use a small quantity of Startron in the stove fuel. It will keeps bugs down and also seems to help the burning although I can't really 'test' this thought.

I have a small Racor filter with a 10u element in the feed line to keep crud out of the Singer . There will be junk buildup in the tank over the years. I cleaned mine out at home and use clean fuel but even so there is stuff collecting again.

There is no 'pilot light'. That is I believe the burner you show a photo of. The low setting may need an adjustment but your unit is enough different from mine that I can't say for sure.

You may need the fan always. The burner is different from the Dickinsons. If you have then manual then look for air feed holes. There will/should be something. If soot has reduced thm then of course the burner cannot do its job properly. In my Dickinson I have to poke out the air feed holes, about 30 of them. But again yours is different.

Any second hand marine stores in your area? Even some of the house woodburning stoves may have pieces 'cheaply' that you can buy to test if a stack height adjustment helps. If that works then get a piece of the S.S. pipe. The bar. dampener, you may just have to bite the bullet for but maybe Craigs list if the used marine fails.
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Old 09-01-2014, 08:36 PM   #38
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'Stuff' came up today so didn't get a chance to pop the top off the stove today like I intended. Will instead try taking Badger out for a good romp in a couple days as suggested and dial the stove up to, "Keep the heat up for a bunch of hours, open doors and windows, and allow it to clean itself out. "

There might have been a little old diesel left, but not much as I gave it a long time to drain from the lowest connection in the system. Hopefully it's as simple as flushing what's left of the old stuff out...may as well start with the simple fixes since it did burn clean on the first day.

There was absolutely no bacterial contamination, which is weird, because the Racor 500FG produced copious amounts of brown goo when I took that puppy apart!
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Old 09-07-2014, 10:14 PM   #39
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Bump (for those interested and/or have knowledge about ancient diesel stoves)

There were cruddy carbon chunks left at the bottom of the drip pot from last time, but almost all of it was gone at the end of todays romp. Following C lectric's advice we turned up the heat, and it did clean things out.

On the control valve it starts out with 'Pilot Light', then has settings up to #10, or 'Max'. The stove was only on setting #1 today, and with the damper closed the oven got up to 400 degrees. This brings to mind a couple questions;

1) shouldn't that temperature be achieved at about #5 on the control valve, and

2) isn't this controlled by adjusting for viscosity?
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Old 09-08-2014, 01:18 AM   #40
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The damper, the one that heats the oven, I think should not be closed or used for normal use UNLESS you want to heat the oven. Other wise you are forcing the exhaust and the soot to take a longer path leaving more soot in the stove. It is intended to heat the oven for cooking, not general heating.

On our Dickinson, Pacific, we leave the doors open always to heat the cabin. Only if we are cooking do we use the damper and shut the oven door. Our doors both open at the top, swinging down to open, with a catch in the handle to hold them open about 2" wide at the top. Your oven door hopefully has some kind of a catch to hold the door partly open.

These oil valves are not exacty predictable. It will take some learning. If there is an adjustment for the range spread then try that. However, out Dickinson has a range of '5'. We have used 4 many years ago but it was cold, snow and ice on the water and lines frozen to the dock.

This last summer I fiddled with my range adjustment as it seemed to go from almost nothing to blowing us out of the cabin. So it does have to be done.

Check the fuel inlet itself. Again yours is different enough that this may not be neccesary but upon shutdown a small bit of coke will form which over many shutdowns will eventually build a little dam and block/reduce fuel entry. Once in a while it is needed to break the stuff up.

Yes, likely that temp should require a higher oil valve setting but first stop using the oven damper unless you want the oven and 'see' how it does. Even then you will have to 'play' with it and the door.

We do not trust our oven door thermometer at all. Rather using a portable oven thermometer, usually on the middle shelf.

Never thought of it before but who knows what fuel was used between my brother in law and your purchase. Maybe that old fuel was not diesel but kerosene or a lighter viscosity fuel oil.

Stop using the damper, See what it does then and start looking into adjusting for diesel. I really do not remember the Singer since I had to dump mine early on so cannot help with any adjustments.

Any chance you have an older furnace service person that may have dealt with oil furnaces and such in town. Maybe if really lucky????

I took a quick look on the web to see if any info was available but a quick check looks like nothing. It might be worthwhile asking Washington, if still around, or Dickinson if they have any info available on the Singer valve. If they do get a manual.
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